By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
It was nothing like the 34-point romp of Arnett in last year's state title game, but the Forgan Bulldogs grinded out a 54-51 win over No.4 Arnett Friday night in Forgan.
"I'm really proud of my guys," Bulldogs coach Todd Kerr said. "We have different kids that keep stepping up on different nights. We're battling through some tough things right now. It was a gritty, grind-it-out game."
Despite still missing two starters due to injury, Forgan has won games over the No.3 and No.4 teams in this week.
"They just keep doing things that make me proud of," Kerr said. "They keep stepping up to fill roles they never planned too. Proud of the way they represent us every night. The things that we can control are attitude and effort, and I haven't seen my kids waver from that."
After trailing at the half 25-24, Forgan took control of the game in the third quarter, regaining the lead, 31-30, with 2:58 left. Forgan outscored Arnett 20-12 in the third to take a 44-37 lead into the final period.
Arnett had their chances in the fourth, but could not take advantage of the Bulldogs missed free throws because they were missing their own.
"It tightened up mostly because we were poor from the free throw line down the stretch, and that allowed them to get in the game," Kerr said. "They weren't great from the line either so we made just enough"
Forgan finished the game 16 of 26 from the line. Arnett was 11 of 18.
Forgan started the game with a 9-2 run, and led 13-9 by the end of the first quarter.
Arnett grabbed their first lead of the game with 1:23 left in the second quarter (21-20), and outscored Forgan in the quarter 16-11.
"I did a pretty poor job late in the first half," Kerr said. "They had a little run to take the lead from us. I should have taken a time out during that stretch. I had us in the wrong offense."
Chandler Bryer led the Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points. Jake Regier added 15, and Dalton Lemieux 10.
Forgan (14-1) will travel to Shattuck Tuesday.